Home Sports Adrian Nocum gets praise from San Miguel foes

Adrian Nocum gets praise from San Miguel foes


San Miguel Beermen vs Rain or Shine jericho cruz terrence romeo pba semis Adrian Nocum

San Miguel Beer guard Jericho Cruz, left, fights for the ball against Rain or Shine’s Adrian Nocum during Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.–PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine went down swinging in its Game 2 loss over San Miguel in the 2023 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

However, no Elasto Painter exuded more resilience than rookie Adrian Nocum, who fought for loose balls and even challenged Beermen inches bigger than him.

In the fourth quarter, Nocum was sandwiched between San Miguel’s Jericho Cruz and Terrence Romeo which resulted in a jump ball.

SCHEDULE: 2024 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals

Romeo went to help out Cruz after a bump by Nocum, making the already-heated affair even more intense.

“Oh, that was nothing. What happened was all three of us went for the ball (with Jericho Cruz) but no words were said,” assured Romeo in Filipino with Inquirer Sports.

The shifty guard, though,  went on to tip his hat to the Rain or Shine young gun.

“Actually, I like Adrian’s game. He’s aggressive, every time he’s given an opportunity to score, he will. I’m sure he can improve a lot more. He has a lot more room to be greater. If he’s already good now, give him more years and he’ll improve, especially because he’s under coach Yeng (Guiao),” said Romeo after finishing with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.

READ: PBA: Rookie Adrian Nocum stepping up for Rain or Shine

Nocum turned heads despite the 106-89 loss to the reigning Philippine Cup kings, tallying a near double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds.

The Mapua product certainly held his own after being rendered scoreless in Game 1 of the semis, much to the surprise of Cruz.

Under Guiao’s guidance

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIREr.net

“It was just good defense. We were fighting for the ball. He attacked and I had to play good defense so I had to get the ball,” said Cruz after registering nine points to help give San Miguel a pivotal 2-0 lead.

“Seeing Nocum, he has a huge upside and he’ll be there one day. He’ll improve with coach Yeng.”

READ: PBA: Rain or Shine won’t make things easy for San Miguel

The guard tandem of San Miguel extended their praise from Nocum to Guiao, who honed a young Elasto Painters squad to the semifinals.

“All of the players I saw who didn’t use to be that good became great under coach Yeng. What more when it’s with guys like Nocum, (Gian) Mamuyac, Andrei Caracut, Anton (Asistio), who are already talented?” pondered Romeo.

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“All of them in that team under coach Yeng have bright futures ahead of them. Knowing coach Yeng, he gives everyone a chance. He doesn’t even have a second or third group. Whoever he sees good in practice, he gives them a chance,” Cruz added.

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